Liverpool will need to beat Napoli at Anfield to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
The Reds travelled to France to play Paris St Germain but once again struggled on the road in Europe. Jurgen Klopp made plenty of changes for the trip, dropping Trent Alexander-Arnold for Joe Gomez and moving Dejan Lovren back into defence. The 2-1 defeat against the Parisians highlighted the need for Gomez to play centrally alongside Virgil van Dijk with Lovren struggling against the French champions.
With Nathaniel Clyne failing to add suitable competition to Alexander-Arnold in defence, Klopp should target another right-sided defender in the upcoming January transfer window.
One man who should be on his shortlist is Nice youngster – Youcef Atal. Valued at just £3.6m by Transfermarkt, the 22-year-old was a summer recruit from Belgium and has settled into life in France instantly. Atal has already become a key player in the Nice defence during his ten appearances in Ligue 1. The right-back would be the perfect replacement for Clyne and give Klopp another quality rotation option at the back.
Atal puts defence first, averaging an incredible 2.5 tackles and interceptions per game in France this season, and would allow Klopp to play more defensively against the division’s top sides. The youngster possesses a fantastic engine, allowing him to get forward and back effortlessly. Atal is also an excellent dribbler which makes him a nightmare to deal with, averaging a fantastic four successful dribbles per game in Ligue 1 (WhoScored).
Working under a coach like Klopp could do wonders for his development as well as learning from the likes of van Dijk. If his impressive showings continue, it will not be long before top clubs come calling – the Reds must ensure they beat them to the punch.
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